It’s not that new toys are bad. It’s just that somehow older toys seem a bit more fun. It’s a case of nostalgia, but it works for companies.
“In particular, going back to the very idealised associations of your childhood,” says Ogilvy’s Chief Strategy Officer for Asia Benoit Weisse to the BBC. “The moment you pick it up, it comes loaded with all this richness and association and this feel-good factor,” Mr Weisser says of an example of playing a Nintendo Gameboy or Transformer toys.
This is why older concepts are popular even today. Now the Tamagotchi is back along with other classic toys. Simple stuffed animals continue to be a staple in the toy market, too.
It’s a mix of nostalgia along with “it just works”. Plus, people tend to be fond of stuff they used to like, use or grow-up with. “There’s definitely a correlation between the popularity of nostalgia marketing versus how confident, optimistic and secure a particular population feels,” Mr Weisser adds.
And all of this sticks even today. Some toys and manufacturers take advantage of this. They keep the classic formula, but add a few updates to it and have a revamped, classic toy, ready for the new age. It’s what the Tamagotchi does. It’s what many other toys try to do, like the revamped Teddy Ruxpin for example.
As a result, nostalgia toys enjoy a lot of new attention. And they keep showing the new toys how things are done.